The City & The City v Raspberry and Quince Berliner Weisse

  • Book: The City and The City
  • Author: China Mieville
  • Publisher: Pan
  • Published: 2009

The City and The City is low fantasy if it can even be called fantasy at all. It definitely fits into the ‘Weird Fiction’ niche Mieville is most comfortable in, but there is no magic involved per se. That said it is set in a uniquely fantastical place.

If you have ever seen the Scandi-Crime series The Bridge you will be familiar with the concept of a murder being caught up in the jurisdiction of two separate police forces. This book ramps that concept up by a 100. At its most basic level the book is a straightforward crime thriller. A ‘foreign’ woman is found murdered and Inspector Borlú of the Besźel Extreme Crime Squad is tasked with investigating.

The stand out feature of the book is the relationship between the city-states of Besźel & Ul Qoma (where the murdered woman is from). Because these cities occupy much of the same geographical space. There are 2 or 3 types of are in the two cities. Total areas are places where only people from a single city can go. To the people from the other city, these areas are known as alter & are complete no go zones. Then there are crosshatched areas which are where it gets really trippy. Try to imagine you are walking down a street & someone is walking towards you on the same side of the road, but that person is actually in an entirely different city to you. By law you must ‘unsee’ them. Ignore them. Completely believe them out of existence in your mind. To acknowledge the existence of the other city whilst in your own city is a crime worse than murder. Breach

  • Beer: Raspberry & Quince Berliner Weisse
  • Brewery: Marble Brewery
  • Style: Fruity Berliner Weisse
  • Strength: 4.1%

I bought this beer from @the_epicurean_beers on a trip to visit family who live nearby. I’m not usually a fan of sour beers – to the point I tend to actively avoid them – but this can matched the book I’ve paired it with too well to pass up. I’m glad I went with it because this was a really nice beer. Quite fruity (obviously) and very tart. Tbf although I’ve tried sour beers I haven’t ever had a Berliner Weisse & if this is typical of the style I will be trying more of them.

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